Get your Trans Tibet Tours


Kham & Shangrila Voyage 16 days


Four Rivers, Six Ranges, its Gorges and Valleys


Brief Overview


Kham, or ‘Chuzhi Gang Dru’, literally meaning four rivers and six ranges; the part of greater Tibet that spills into Southern Sichuan and Yunnan's northern reaches, is a wild and uncharted area of rushing rivers, sentinel snow peaks, grazing yaks, breathtaking scenery, deep canyons, virgin spruce and pine forests, and a treasure house of biodiversity (7,000 species of native plants—a paradise for botanists!). It is both the most populated (strictly relative) and, arguably, culturally richest region of greater Tibet. The trail heads into some truly remote areas, taking in several rarely visited monasteries and towns, and overall getting the full flavour of this remarkable region,  before dropping down off the plateau into NW Yunnan. An adventure that will immerse you in the culture, ecology, and contemporary lifestyles of this intriguing corner of the world: meet fascinating ethnic minorities in their traditional picturesque villages, and learn about the region's rich Buddhist culture, take inspiring walks around pristine sacred lakes, ride horses and admire a landscape that is among the most breathtaking and dramatic in all Asia. For all of these, there is a small price to pay; some bumpy roads and few nights in rudimentary accommodation. Although we cover a huge area during this trip, the pace is actually quite gentle.




Day 1: Arrival in Chengdu (D)
Depending on your arrival timing, there will be a tour of Sansheng Village, a gardening style village in the suburbs. Early dinner, including sampling of Schewan’s famous Hotpot. Stroll in ancient Jingli Street and later attend renowned Sichuan Opera and Face Changing performance. Overnight Tibet Hotel (4 Star)

Day 2: Danba (B/L/D)
This morning we will leave for Danba. En-route we will make a brief stop at Wolong Panda Reserve, where giant pandas bred in a semi-natural environment. After lunch at Wolong, we cross the foggy Balang Mountain (4,523 meters) and pass by the
Siguniang Shan Mountain (four-ladies mountain, highest peak 6250m), late in the afternoon we reach Danba (Tib. Rongmi Drango), at 1,950m. Total of about 5-6 hours drive. The indigenous populations of Danba are ‘Gyarong Tibetans’, who speak distinctively archaic Qiangic dialect, unintelligible to other Tibetans and the dress is also distinctive. The women, traditionally wear colorful head gears and are well known for being prettiest in Tibet. Tall 18th century block towers (watchtowers), fortification dominate the landscape of this ancient Gyarong Kingdom. We will visit one of these towers and local family. Overnight Ancient Tower Hotel.

Day 3: Daofu (Tawu) (B/L/D)
Drive to Daofu passes scenic Yak Valley, an area regarded as the “Natural Bonsai garden”, then through Yala Snow Mountain, Longdeng Grassland and Yarlung River. Just before arriving at our destination, we also visit Huiyan monastery Daofu valley is a prosperous farming community with neatly constructed flat-roofed, horizontal red timbers houses and is one of the most attractive parts of Tibet. Three sacred mountains lie to the south of town. The dialect of Tibetan spoken here is distinct from that of the neighbouring counties. We will take short walks and visit sights including a school of orphanage with interesting dormitories, artworks and then take easy walk in Yuke Grassland, carpeted with wild flowers. June is the blossom season around here. Tonight we spend the night at Tibetan home, where we dine with them and chat about the cultures and learn about “Moving Marriage” and Polyandry system. We sleep in their well decorated rooms. Approx. Alt.2,980m. About 83KM /3hours drive. Overnight in Tibetan home.

Day 4: Gantze / Manigange (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Manigange via Ganzi, which is something of a cowboy town, a market and meeting place serving the needs of the Khampa nomads to the west and north and the farmers from the surrounding plains. The drive to Manigange is a superb stretch of road following the Yalong River, with the hillsides scattered with formations of prayer flags and one of the highest concentrations of monasteries in Kham. Our pace will determine how many we have time to stop and see! We pass through Grasslands and alpine lakes, make detour to visit Xinlu Lake (Yilhun Lhatso) a beautiful blue lake on the east slope of glaciered Mt. Que’er and arrive in the evening at the road junction town of Manigange (3,800m) after about 5 hours drive. Overnight in simple local Guest House.

Day 5: Dege (Derge) (B/L/D)
Spend the morning in the grassland near Manigange and view the plains carpeted by wild flowers, grazing wildlife, probably Black-necked cranes and visit the Nomads in their Tents. The road to Derge climbs up to 4916m Tro La pass; scenes changing dramatically to rugged mountains and snowy peaks as we descend a steep series of switchbacks down into the steep-sided Zi-chu river gorge which takes us to a pretty valley where Dege is set. Derge is often regarded as the cultural heart of Kham, once the seat of the Kingdom of Derge, whose kings ruled this area independent of interference from either Lhasa or Beijing. The most famous attraction here is the Parkhang Printery, a magnificent four-storey building, which houses an invaluable collection of Tibetan religious and scholarly works (by some estimates, 80% of all Tibetan works). Established in 1729 during the peak of the Kingdom of Dêrge's power, it has been printing continuously, using the same traditional wood blocks. It is said to have over 210,000 woodblocks, the sole source of Tibetan printed material for the monasteries, schools, libraries in greater Kham. It's also revered as 'Kham's Potala Palace'. Tonight, we sleep in a proper hotel. Ovenight Chaola Mountain Hotel (3 star) Approx. 2-3 hours drive/ Altitude 3,300m.

Day 6: Baiyu (Pelyul) (B/L/D)
The road (rough and un-tar) heads southeast through some stunning scenery, following the Jinshajiang river, tributary of Yangtze river, bordering the TAR, passing a huge white chorten before reaching the turnoff to Hepo, where the early 12c Katok Gompa (which other than Samye near Lhasa is the oldest surviving monastery of the Nyingmapa and possibly the most sacred site in Kham. The town of Hepo (Horpo) is renowned in the past for high quality metal works and you can find some Tibetan crafts, such as Tibetan Knife and silver bowls.Back to the main road and continue drive to Baiyu, a pretty Tibetan town with tree-lined streets and Ding-chu river running through it. The important Pelyul Gompa monastery is located atop a hill behind town. Overnight simple guest House. Approx. 5 hours drive. Altitude 3,150m.

Day 7: To Xinlong (B/L/D)
This morning, rise early to see the ceremonial rites at Baiyu Monastery, founded in 1665 by the king of Derge. Drive to Xinlong, center of Nyarong County, set alongside the banks of the Yalong River. Set atop the hill behind town is Zera Gompa, a teaching monastery with about upwards of 50 monks. Alt: 3080m/ Approximately 4 hours drive. Overnight in Blue Man Mountain Hotel.

Day 8: Day at Xinlong (B/L/D)
The main attractions here are huge Six Word Apothegm (OM MANI PADMI HUM) made on Khawa Lhori Holy Mountain, then there is the largest Bon Sect. Monastery, Pagoda Forest, Reproduction Worship cultures, Grassland with wildlife such as Bharal roaming about. On occasions, the people here are seen to wear a unique dress. We may also use this as a contingent day for any unplanned stops, may be an extra day in Derge. Overnight in Blue Man Mountain Hotel.

Day 9: Litang / Daocheng (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we proceed on the extreme backcountry drive, as the trails wends its way through forested valleys and grassland to Litang (4,100m), one of the highest towns in the world, set on a broad grassland. It is a market town and administrative centre, heavily colored by its roots as a trading post for the Khampa nomads that populate the high plains. After visiting Lithang Monastery, continue our drive on the dirt road, south, following Lichu valley through the grasslands of Gyawa, en-route cross a 4,500m pass. After Chaksum, the road ascends through forested gorge to re-crosses the Yalong-Yangtse watershed, where there are number of nomad encampments. Arrive after total of 5 hour drive at Docheng, Overnight at Sunshine Hotel.

Day 10: Daocheng / Yading (B/L/D)
After breakfast, transfer from Daocheng to Riwa Village, which takes about 3 hours. Visit Tibetan homes and proceed to Yading Nature Reserve. The centre piece of this park are the 3 sacred peaks namely, Chenrezi (the 6032m) Jampeyang (5958m), and Chenadorje (5,958m), so named after the three main bodhisattvas representing, Compassion, Wisdom and Energy, respectively. Covered in snow year-round, they tower over the landscape and cover an area of some 800 sq. miles. The Sacred Peaks are one of Tibetans’ holiest places, and pilgrims come from all over Tibet. In front of the peak, there is limpid lake that mirrors and reflect the peaks. Within the park are un-spoilt vegetation and native forests, very isolated Tibetan villages, a small monastery, and sacred lakes. Wild goats, deer, monkeys and black bear thrive in this protected park. This evening, enjoy the well deserved hot spring bath at your lodge. Overnight Azalea Hot Spring Resort.

Day 11: Yading (B/L/D)
After breakfast, ride a horse for about for about an hour and visit Chonggu Monastery, and then ride to for another hour or so to the Pearl Lake at the foot of Mt. Chenrezi. Sightseeing in Narong Niuchang, Milk Lake by walks or horse and return to Yading. Overnight Azalea Hot Spring Resort.

Day 12: Derong (Zang-me) (B/L/D)
After breakfast, transfer from Yading to Derong. On the route, appreciate natural scenery of Sun Canyon, where one can behold the sight of 3 mountains flanking 2 rivers. Derong is a small bustling town packed tightly in a gorge along two sides of the Ding-chu River. It’s one of the two staging posts for traffic between Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, offering an alternate route when the Zhongdian-Xiangcheng road is shut down (as frequently happens in the rainy season). The town is mostly Tibetans, at an altitude of 2800m. Overnight in Sun Valley hotel (2 * Star)

Day 13: Deqen (Dechen) (B/L/D)
After breakfast, drive to Deqen, in Yunan province, which takes about 3 hours (185km). En- route, visit Dongzhuling Monastery, appreciate the First Bend of Jinshajiang River, Lancangjiang River and Lancangjiang Grand Canyon and view the Meili Snow Mountain (Kawa Karpo). Overnight in Rainbow Hotel for 2 nights in (3 * Star).

Day 14: Deqen (B/L/D)
Dechen or Deqin, at an average altitude of 3550m is part of the enormous new Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected area, a World Heritage Site created through the assistance of the Nature Conservancy. Deqin is the last (first in our case) township of Yunnan’s northwestern most county, and it sits on the border with Tibet to the west and Myanmar (Burma) to the southwest with Yunnan's most magical mountains, Kawa Karpo (Ch. Meli range) with 13 peaks. Among them the highest Kawa Karpo (6,740M) is conceived as the male protector deity and Men Tsumo (6,055m) as the female consort. The range is an important focal point for pilgrimage from all over Kham, Tibet, and most recently one of the most popular treks. The sunrise view from Namkha Tashi Lhakhang (ch, Feilai Monastery), 10 kms north and above the gorge, is the most spectacular. Overnight in Rainbow Hotel (3 * Star).

Day 15: Zhongdian (Shangrila) (B/L/D)
Drive Southeast through some stunning scenery, which takes about 3-4 hours (185km). En-route, pass through marshlands of scenic Napa Lake Nature, home to the migratory bird including the Black-necked crane and large herds of grazing Yaks. Zhongdian or Gyeltang (3,4350m) is where the Tibetan and Chinese worlds meet. Until recently it was the northernmost open point for foreign travelers in Yunnan. The city and county have recently been renamed Shangri-La after an exhaustive search (and a strong PR minded local committee) concluded that this region was the inspiration for James Hilton’s best selling “Lost Horizon” (1933). Zhongdian is now a modern city at the edge of the vast Tibetan Plateau. You will visit the Ganden Sumtsaling Monastery which was founded in 1679 by the Fifth Dalai Lama (known as the Great Fifth for his services to Buddhism in Tibet). It is now flourishing with around 800 monks of the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Later visit local market & the old town of Gyalthang.

Day 16: Departure (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport (15minutes) in time for your flight. Flight cost not included. Daily flights operate to Lhasa and Kunming. From Kunming, one can connect to Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Bangkok, Hongkong.

Trip Price:
Group Size: Private
All transfers/ land transportation by 4WD Landcruiser for 2 or 3 people and Mini Bus Transit for 4-10 people. Accompany English speaking Tibetan tour guide.
Entrance fees to sights (exclude camera charges if any)
Accomodation with all meals. Some snacks/Tea and bottled
water during the day.
Horse rides in Yading and Xinlu lake. Oxygen bottle and
Air pillow, basic first aid kit. Permits, park entrance etc
Visa, Airfares, travel and medical insurance, optional tips
or gratuities, camera fees (if applicable), and items of a
personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry,

Copyright 2018 Trans Tibet Tours All right reserved

Book you travel!

Full Name:
* Email Address: